The grapes used in the Butternut Chardonnay were harvested from various sites in California including Napa, Sonoma, Sierra Foothills, and Monterey. The grapes were picked at optimum time and fermented in stainless steel. The wine was later aged on French oak.
Aromas of peach, hazelnut and spiced candied apple. Round, creamy notes of fig, butterscotch and sweet oak. Butternut Chardonnay pairs well with Asian dishes, grilled fish and pork sausages. $18.99
"Settled first by Etruscans then the Romans, the territory of Tuscany has been prized since antiquity for its rich soil and favorable climate for the cultivation of grapes and olives. The earliest documentation of a "Chianti wine" dates back to the 13th century when viticulture was known to flourish in the "Chianti Mountains" around Florence. The name 'La Maialina' (little pig) references the Cinta Senese heirloom breed that originated in the Siena area during the 1300's and is the only Tuscan native pig to survive extinction.
La Maialina Chianti expresses a ruby red color, with bright aromas and flavors of red cherries and ripe strawberries with hints of sweet spices and a soft finish."
Critical acclaim for the 2010 vintage!
We absolutely love the wines from Scarborough in Washington State. This micro-production winery produces some red blends and Cabernets that are out of this world! Here's a little info about Scarborough winery:
"Travis Scarborough, Winemaker, grew up in the Napa Valley and worked at a few different wineries before moving up to Washington in 2002. His style is rather simple: "Maintain concentration while avoiding over-ripeness, and focus on the vineyard instead of can be done in the cellar. Once in my hands, practice 'barrel integrity' and precise blending techniques, the wine can maintain a consistency throughout each vintage. For the love of wine, we hope you enjoy!"
91 points -- The Wine Advocate
"Starting out the reds, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon The Main Event is a multi-vineyard blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot that spent 24 months in 60% new French oak prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Bright and subtly volatile on the nose, with bramble, cedar, potpourri and black currants emerging from the glass, this full-bodied, decadently styled blend has knockout richness, a seamless texture and a clean, well-focused finish...Improving with air, it should continue to thrill through 2020. Drink now-2020."
$99.99/ 1.5 liter bottle
The Russian River traverses Sonoma County from its source high in the mountains of northern California. This river valley is known for a relatively cool climate due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Morning fog often rolls in from the Pacific through the Petaluma gap and burns off during the day, resulting in a wide range of diurnal temperature variation. Pinot Noir does exceptionally well in the Russian River Valley, as this very delicate grape variety appreciates cooler climes.
"The 2011 Miro Pinot Noir has fresh, medium red bright color. The first impression is of cherry compote, hint of cranberry, ripe strawberry and pronounced rose petals aromas. With further aeration the wine shows slight nuances of new oak barrels-vanilla and toast and a hint of forest floor and earthiness. The mouth feel starts out freshly fruity and finishes with balanced acidity and soft tannin. The wine is still very young at the time of these notes and it will develop nicely with 2-4 years of aging. Cheers!" $29.99
Rosé season is not over! The mercury is well into the 90s and you need something crisp, light, and refreshing. Commanderie de la Bargemone is THE quintessential Provençal rosé that is sure to be your next wine crush.
"One of my go to Provencal rosés, the 2012 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence Rosé is another beauty. Very pale in color, it nevertheless has loads of flavor, with plenty of melon, orange peel and floral aromas to go with a medium-bodied, racy palate that has both richness and freshness. Buy this beauty by the case and enjoy bottles over the coming year or so." ~JD
90 Points - The Wine Advocate
Lillet Blanc is a French aperitif wine made in the Bordeaux region with the addition of citrus liqueurs and other botanicals. Lillet is best served chilled with a slice of lemon or lime and acts as a wonderfully aromatic aperitif during the Summer months.
Lillet can also be used as an ingredient in a range of cocktails, including James Bond's 'Vesper' made popular in both the Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace films. See below for a recipe.
3 measures of Gordon's Gin
1 measure of vodka
1/2 measure Lillet
lemon peel for garnish
The Vesper according to Ian Fleming and James Bond:
"Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"
-Casino Royale, Chapter 7
Wine maker Dave Phinney is responsible for such cultish and iconic wines as 'The Prisoner', 'Saldo', and 'Papillion.' On his latest wine project, Phinney traverses the globe crafting elegant & approachable wines in places like Spain, France, and Italy.
The Locations Italy project is a blend of native Italian varietals including Negroamaro, Nero d'Avola, Barbera, and other varietals from Puglia.
"Revealing an attractive color spectrum of crimson and scarlet with a slight magenta band on the rim, the wine explodes with aromas of macerated raspberries, dried lavender, plum tart, and toasty oak accents. The palate is immediately hit with super lush flavors of ripe berries and spice, supported with a dense core that has just the right amount of characteristic acidity. The tannins are already velvety and soft which provide for a lingering finish with hints of minerality and some herbal notes." $19.99
According to many pundits and wine makers alike, 2007 was a great year in the Rhone river valley. The wines are known to show great concentration and depth of flavor. Most of the 2007 vintage has been sold off, but we were lucky enough to find a stash of the Chateau Courac Cotes du Rhone Villages Laudun.
Laudun is a village in the southern Rhone valley which focuses on producing high-quality blends of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. This particular bottling from Chateau Courac is Syrah-heavy and delivers a deep and dark garnet hue with ripe and fruity notes on the nose. Enticing scents of blackberry liqueur sneak through. A heavy amount of Syrah gives the wine a meaty quality with peppery tannins and a chewiness on the palate. This is a beautiful representation of the Cotes du Rhone and is ready to drink now. $21.99
Known for their prestigious Brunello di Montalcino, Altesino began making the Rosso di Altesino in 1989 to offer a high-quality wine at a price that could be enjoyed everyday. 80% Sangiovese with 20% Cabernet and Merlot, this is a fresh wine with a bright, ruby red color. Notes of red roses and violets, the wine itself is dry and slightly rustic. Pasta or lasagne with a bolognese sauce would be a match made in an italian kitchen...or heaven, isn't that the same place? $19.99
The name Textbook Fin de Journée 2011 Napa Chardonnay came about because the winemakers, Jonathan and Susan Pey, believe it is a "textbook" example of a great California Chardonnay. We agree! Classic winemaking, whole-cluster press, new French oak barrels, and lees-stirring resulted in a creamy texture with great acidity. Notes of golden delicious apples and toasted hazelnuts are confirmed by a palate of pear and butterscotch. Thanks to the cool 2011 growing season, the resulting wine is complex and balanced. A lovely compliment to grilled chicken in a light cream sauce, a ceasar salad with shrimp or a warm summer night. $24.99